Do you know brands leverage psychology in their marketing to influence customers’ buying decisions? Brands utilize numerous ways to grab the attention of individuals and compel them to take a desirable action. In this article, we will explore the marketing psychological tricks to attract customers which affect their purchasing behavior.

Since the invention of television and social media, customers have been bombarded with advertisements daily. According to a study by Red Crow Marketing, most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day. These alarming statistics imply that brands are utilizing sophisticated techniques to attract customer attention.

Top Marketing Physiological tricks

Wondering how marketers use psychological practices to influence consumer behavior? Maybe you never thought about it. Remember the last time you bought Something last time? What were the reasons for you to buy a certain product every time? Business owners are utilizing psychology in their marketing to influence customers’ decisions. Here we will explore the top psychological tricks the brand utilizes:

#1: The Mere Exposure Theory




The mere exposure theory refers to the psychological phenomenon where people associate themselves with things based on familiarity. It is also known familiarity effect, and the more people are familiar with a thing, the more they give preference to the certain thing. In terms of business perspective, brand owners call this ” marketing to the subconscious mind.”

How do brands utilize it?

Brand owners leverage the Mere Exposure Theory through retargeting campaigns on various social media channels. One of the best examples of Mere Exposure Theory is paid to advertise. When brands utilize several digital mediums to advertise their product and services, they are more likely to see success. The reason for this is the mere exposure effect when customers are exposed to products and services of the same brand; They feel a sense of belonging to that brand. Hence it increases the chances of purchasing that specific brand.


Mere exposure theory creates a sense of familiarity among individuals. When customers view the same product and services of a certain brand on every platform, they are more likely to buy from that company.

#2: The Frequency Illusion


The Frequency Illusion is also referred to as ” The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.” Brands utilize a mysterious psychological trick to influence customers’ decisions. The frequency Illusion refers to the psychological phenomenon where a person sees Something once and then starts to notice it everywhere. One simplest example will be if you purchase a car model that is not common in your hometown. However, after buying, you notice that the same models appear everywhere; this is known as Frequency Illusion. 

When was this term coined?

The term ” Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” came into being in 1994 by an online commentator who heard the term ultra-left wing german terrorist twice in one day. After that, one linguistic professor at Stanford University named this phenomenon ” frequency Illusion” in 2006.

Effect of frequency illusion on a customer

The frequency effect enables a person to notice things through a psychological phenomenon known as selective attention. When an individual sees advertisements of the same brand on a different platform, A person starts to notice it everywhere. Hence it creates an illusion that it a famous or big. Consequently, a person would prefer to buy from such a brand due to frequency illusion.


An illusion of frequency (also known as a Baader-Meinhof phenomenon) is a mental bias in which, when Something is first noticed; there is a tendency to notice it more often, leading to a belief that it has a greater frequency. Brands leverage this psychological trick through retargeting campaigns to increase brand awareness and generate sales.


#3: Scarcity




One of the greatest factors influencing a buyer is that certain products have limited resources. When a person believes a certain product may run out of stock, it naturally becomes more desirable. The illusion of scarcity is the psychological factor that drives the luxury product market. If people notice that a certain product was only manufactured in limited items, they would be compelled to buy the piece. 

How do businesses leverage the illusion of scarcity?

Businesses and brands create the illusion of scarcity to generate sales. Airline companies use scarcity in advertisement campaigns all the time. Terms like ” limited time offer” would generate more sales. Moreover, companies and brands offer limited-time trials to compel users to take immediate action.

Study of Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman, the noble prize-willing psychologist, studied the illusion of scarcity. The findings of the group study indicated that people are more likely to take action when they feel like losing Something. To sum up, brands create the illusion of scarcity to entice customers to take immediate action. Limited time offer, few days left, and few seats available are great examples of leveraging the illusion of scarcity.


Marketing companies use scarcity to accelerate demand. The illusion of scarcity encourages individuals to buy sooner and more than normal.

#4: FOMO(Fear of Missing Out)


Social proof is one the great example of influencing customers. When people read views of previous customers or watch testimonial videos, It creates a sense of missing out, known as the ” fear of missing out.” They feel their life has space without the specific product and would become interested in buying it.

The basic psychology of humans is that they don’t want to be left out of the action. Rather humans tend towards a thing; other people are doing it. That is Something brands utilize to influence and attract customers. A famous Psychologist Robert Cialdini points out in his book that sitcoms utilize the magical effect of FOMO. They create fake laughter so that you feel it’s funny, and you would join others in the laughter; just to become part of the herd.

How do FOMO works?

FOMO(fear of missing out) creates subconscious anxiety among individuals. Therefore they strive to join what others are doing. They tend to believe that if people are recommending Something, it will revolutionize their life. A study by Nielsen suggests that 86% of people would buy a certain product based on recommendations or testimonials.


Brands leverage FOMO to create anxiety among individuals. As a result, they would try to purchase the product to become part of the group. Hence businesses generate sales.

#5: The Reciprocity Principle



Robert Cialdini suggests that people reciprocate favors; it’s just in their psychology. Although there may be some psychopaths in our society, scratching each other’s back is the norm. Moreover, Cialdini suggests that if a waiter brings a check within one minute, customers are likelier to tip in a restaurant. Similarly, brands utilize the principle of reciprocity to influence customers’ decisions.

How do brands utilize the principle of reciprocity?

Nowadays, almost all interactions with businesses have become online. Therefore, brands are humanizing their business to attract customers. They utilize a customer-centric approach and strive to provide valuable information and freebies. All of these create a sense of association, and they tend to buy from the business.

Brands and businesses offer blog posts, guides, tutorials, recommendations, and other valuable information. All of the information creates value for the customers and benefit them. As a result, they would follow the principle of reciprocity and take the desired action. Their chances of signing up for their newsletter, subscribing to their youtube channel, and buying their products would dramatically be increased.


People like to reciprocate favors with each other. Similarly, in business, when businesses provide value, customers would reciprocate. Businesses offer newsletters, guides, blogs, and freebies, and as a result, customers would purchase from them.

#6: The Framing Effect



Framing Effect theory asserts that words and how they are framed influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. A positive way to frame your content will benefit your brand by influencing your consumers. At the same time, a negative way to frame content would have a negative effect. It’s quite similar to when we are having a bad day; we tend to view all things from a negative perspective. Therefore one may call it framing or priming. However, the main crux is to showcase the product in a way customers are receptive to it.

How do companies leverage the framing effect?

Business owners and marketers use the terms like 8 out of 10 would recommend our product. They are framing potential customers towards their product, which would eventually affect their decision. Hence framing makes their product more desirable.

One study published by the Journal of Customer research supports the framing principle. In the study, customers were educated about a certain product type and given alternative options. The final findings suggest that the product more knowledgeable by the customers was more desirable.


Framing and priming are one of the most important marketing psychological techniques. Sometimes brands frame the “pricing” of their products. Whereas sometimes its ” safety features” of their products. When businesses frame their unique selling propositions, customers are more likely to buy their products and services.

#7: Decoy Effect




The decoy effect is perhaps the most popular psychological trick customers see daily. All brands, even those that don’t realize they’re using it, use this pricing strategy, from McDonald’s to your local supermarket. The Decoy Effect refers to the practice by which a brand presents consumers with a third, less desirable option – the decoy – to make them believe they’re getting a better deal.

One of the most examples of the decoy effect is buying popcorn at the cinema. People see small popcorn worth $2, medium worth $5, and large is priced at $10. The majority of individuals would go for the larger one. The decoy effect in action triggers customers to go for the third option.

How are companies leveraging the decoy effect?

Dan Riley, an American professor at MIT, conducted a study on the decoy effect. The study has three pricing options for an economist’s subscription. An online subscription had a pricing of $59, whereas, for both print and online, the cost was $125. However, they did have a third option not presented to the students. The study findings suggested that when students were not presented with the third option, they chose the cheapest one. But when there was a third option available, they went for it even though it was high in price, thinking it would have Something extra. That’s the decoy effect in action.


Brands utilize the decoy effect by introducing a third option. Normally when customers are presented with two options, they would mostly go for the cheapest one. However, when the third option is introduced, they would go for it regardless of the high price.

#8: Clustering



You’ve probably heard of this method if you’ve studied or tried to improve your study skills. The act of clustering is the organization of similar pieces of information so that you can remember them better. When your brain searches for Something in your long-term memory, it searches through all similar instances. This is believed to be because storing everything this way is more efficient. If you want to find the specific wrench size while you look at all of them, you won’t store them on separate shelves.

How does clustering works?

There was a study conducted on semantic clustering. The subjects were given a list of 15 randomly chosen words and asked to recall them. After that, they gave them another list of 15 words but grouped them according to similar topics. As a result of the second test, there was a noticeable increase in recognition. 


As businesses and brands are now online, they utilize clustering as a psychological trigger in various ways. One great clustering technique is adding features and benefits of their products on their landing pages. In this, customers can easily relate their problems with the brand’s products and how they would resolve them.

#9: Principle of Loss aversion


A loss aversion theory states that people would much rather avoid a loss than gain Something. Loss is almost twice the pain of gain, and reward is almost twice the pleasure. What people already have is precious to them, so they don’t want to lose it. Instead, they would prefer to cling to Something rather than lose Something altogether; this is called loss aversion.

Effect of loss aversion

A study conducted within Illinois’s education system confirmed the effectiveness of loss aversion. In the first half of the school year, teachers were given their bonuses and told that if student performance improved, they could keep them. At the end of the year, they got their regular bonuses. There was an increase of almost 10% in test scores in the first half.

If the customer doesn’t accept your offer, you can use your copy to highlight what they stand to lose. You can also incorporate it by reminding consumers that their gift vouchers are about to expire. It’s often more valuable for them to maintain that opportunity for a discount than what they would spend on your product.


Brands leverage loss aversion as a psychological factor to compel individuals to take the desired action. For this, they design email and advertising campaigns to create awareness that if customers did not use their product, it would be a great loss. Humans try to avoid loss at all costs, so we tend to take immediate action in critical conditions.


To conclude, as we mentioned in the beginning, customers are the lifeline of a business. And a business thrives on its marketing efforts. Marketing efforts require businesses to understand customer psychology. Brands and businesses embed psychology in their marketing strategies to influence customer behavior.

Customers are exposed to hundreds of advertisements daily in today’s digital world. These advertisements leverage psychological techniques and tricks to influence customer buying decisions. The above are some of the best marketing psychology tactics utilized by brands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.